The federal government has announced plans to give the Australian Federal Police the power to demand identification from people in airports without precondition. AFP officers currently cannot request someone’s ID unless they are confident the person has committed, or plans to commit, an offence. Home affairs minister Peter Dutton called current arrangements “an absurdity”, saying police would also be given the power to move people on from airport precincts “if it’s believed that they’re involved in certain criminal activities”. CT body scanners common at international airports will be installed at domestic airports as part of a $294 million security upgrade. Senator Derryn Hinch’s quick pledge of support for the increased powers “as long as it doesn’t degenerate into racial profiling as we’ve seen in the US” has generated strong responses from people who have already experienced racial profiling at Australian airports.
Aid agencies and governments have responded to Israel’s use of force that left at least 61 Palestinian protesters dead. Medical aid charity Medecins sans Frontieres called the violence “unacceptable and inhuman”, saying “it is unbearable to witness such a massive number of unarmed people being shot in such a short time”. Foreign minister Julie Bishop expressed Australia’s “deep regret and sadness” over the deaths, urging Israel “to be proportionate in its response and refrain from excessive use of force” while telling “Palestinian protesters to refrain from violence”. White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said “the responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas”, accusing the group of “intentionally and cynically provoking this response”. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull echoed that sentiment, telling Melbourne radio station 3AW that Hamas was “seeking to provoke the Israeli defence forces” by orchestrating the protest.
Former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has warned supporters Malaysia’s new government will need time to tackle the country’s problems, saying “one election does not a democracy make”. Speaking to Fairfax, Anwar nominated “independence of the judiciary, rule of law, free media and proper separation of powers” as his priorities once he takes office. The former deputy prime minister is expected to be pardoned today, allowing him to take a seat in parliament once a member of his Pakatan Harapan coalition steps down. Anwar will likely then become Malaysia’s eighth prime minister under the terms of a power-sharing arrangement with current prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. On Saturday former prime minister Najib Razak was barred from leaving the country, and a police cordon has been set up around Najib’s home.
And Liberal senator Lucy Gichuhi is at risk of losing her seat at the next election. The ABC reports the South Australian Liberals may pick Adelaide City councillor Alex Antic over Gichuhi for the third spot on the party’s Senate ticket, leaving Gichuhi in an unwinnable fourth position. Gichuhi, a Kenyan-born migrant, joined the Liberals in February after a brief stint as an independent following the collapse of Family First, declining to join Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives. The preselection battle adds to tension in the Liberal Party about the number of women in leadership positions. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted he unsuccessfully urged Liberals in the seat of Ryan to select assistant disability services minister Jane Prentice as their candidate at the next election. The federal minister for women and minister for financial services, Kelly O’Dwyer, donated $50,000 to the Enid Lyons Fighting Fund, an organisation she set up this year, to provide financial support for Liberal women running for office.